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No. 86

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Historic Sites
of Manitoba

Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1877-1959)

Architect, war hero.

Born Ottawa, Ontario, 1877, son of William Northwood, he was educated the Ottawa College Institute and McGill University (Montreal). He commenced a career as an architect with K. Arnoldi of Ottawa, in 1900. He came to Winnipeg in 1905 and established an architectural firm. He married Gussie Simpson of Thorold, Ontario the next year.

He designed many Winnipeg buildings before 1914, including the Northern Crown Bank and the Dominion Bank of Canada. He also had a business interest in the Manitoba Linseed Oil Company and National Securities Company. With the outbreak of the First World War, when he went overseas with the 8th Battalion. Captured by the Germans in 1915, he returned to Winnipeg in 1918 as a major, having been awarded the Military Cross. He established the firm Northwood and Chivers, which designed the Civic Auditorium (now the Archives of Manitoba building) and the Federal Building on Main Street.

From 1931 to 1933 he was Dominion superintendent of unemployment and farm relief. He was a Chairman of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba (1943-1948). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1938. He was President of the Manitoba Association of Architects (1923) and the Manitoba Club (1931-1932). Later in his life he was President of the Northern Canadian Mortgage Company.

He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1959 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:





Ryan Block

44 Princess Street, Winnipeg



Northern Crown Bank

654 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg



Mrs. F. M. McDonald Residence

555 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg



Wellington Apartments

264-276 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg



S. E. Richards Residence

638 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg



Richards and Brown Warehouse

132 James Avenue, Winnipeg



Finnie and Murray Block / Western Glove Works

321 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg



Mrs. R. J. Whitla Residence

151 Yale Avenue, Winnipeg



Charles W. Gordon Residence

54 West Gate, Winnipeg



Provencher School (repairs)

320 Avenue de la Cathedrale, Winnipeg



Winnipeg Skating Club

51 Smith Street, Winnipeg



St. Agnes Priory

442 Scotia Street, Winnipeg



William A. Smith Residence

111 Park Boulevard, Winnipeg



Canadian Wheat Board Building

423 Main Street, Winnipeg



Greater Winnipeg Gas Company Building

265 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg



Women’s Tribute Memorial Lodge

200 Woodlawn Street, Winnipeg



Queenston School

245 Queenston Street, Winnipeg



Winnipeg Civic Auditorium

200 Vaughan Street, Winnipeg



Banfield Block (renovations)

492 Main Street, Winnipeg



Federal Building

269 Main Street, Winnipeg




Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

“George W. Northwood dead at 83,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1959.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

George William Northwood, Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 24 April 2018

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